Five in a Row - The Story About Ping

We're rowing our third FIAR title this week. The Story About Ping has been such a wonderful story, and I think we're continuing next week, as well. Here's a synopsis of the book:

The tale of a little duck alone on the Yangtze River, The Story About Ping is a sweet and funny book with wonderfully rich and colorful illustrations. On a day like any other, Ping sets off from the boat he calls home with his comically large family in search of "pleasant things to eat." On this particular day, he is accidentally left behind when the boat leaves. Undaunted, the little duck heads out onto the Yangtze in search of his family, only to find new friends and adventures--and a bit of peril--around every bend.

The exceptional illustrations bring the lush Yangtze to life, from Ping's family to the trained fishing birds he finds himself among to the faithfully rendered boats and fishermen. Certainly intended to be read aloud, The Story About Ping deserves a place on every young reader's (or listener's) shelf. ( review)

Monday I just simply read the book to my children, and later that day we sat down with our puzzle atlas and found China and talked about the country while we did the puzzle together. We were gently easing into the week, and we visited the library to check out all kinds of books about China and ducks.

Tuesday was another reading of the book, and this time I started pointing out some of the elements of the book, such as the repetition of certain phrases, and tools the illustrator used in the story. My son also did the duck math sheet from Homeschool Share, which he really enjoyed. He loves numbers, and the sheer volume of Ping's family was impressive to him.

Wednesday was really our FUN day. We spent the morning at a local lake/park and sat on the dock and read books about ducks and also fed and observed the ducks. I really felt the amazing benefits of homeschooling on this day, because so many things just "clicked" for my children and we had such a good time together. Two of the books about ducks we used were, Ducks Don't Get Wet and Ducks. These were two good choices because they seemed to be right at a level where both my nine and five year old learned things from them. My five year old soaked up the facts, and my nine year old sketched the lake while she listened. It was such a peaceful morning.

My son thought maybe we even saw Ping!

Thursday we read the book again, and also began looking at our resources about China. We learned about The Forbidden City, which was interesting to all of us. We have dear friends going to China to adopt a little boy next week, so we will follow their journey and delve into China with more depth next week.

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